Riveted Geometric Pendants

I've had a Flickr account for years, but I just recently joined a jewelry artists group on Flickr called Four a Month (FAM). It's kind of a personal challenge group where you create "a four of a kind series using the same theme or supplies, or a collection of matching pieces" or a suite of matching jewelry.

So for my first FAM I created four pendants, each created with a silver disk, a copper triangle, and a brass square.  All elements were hand cut and textured and connected with hand made rivets.

Rock 'n Rolling Mill

The rolling mill has got to be one of the most exciting and intimidating pieces of equipment in a metalsmith's workshop.  You can plow through a lot of metal experimenting with different potential textures.  I still haven't figured out yet if it's an art or a science determining the amount of tension on the rollers in regard to the composition of the material getting smooshed.  Yes, I'm very scientific - not!

I've shared photos of my little "experiment" to give you an idea of the possibilities with this tool.

A Metalsmith's Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a beautiful 24 ounce steel hammer with a lovely textured face.
But he/she was  lonely.

There was also a handsome strong 15 pound anvil.  

But he/she was also lonely..

Metal Workshop on a Budget

This is how I made a functional metal workshop in a spare bedroom for about $200 (tools extra).  I've got everything I need to fabricate copper, brass, and silver into great jewelry packed into half of the spare bedroom.  The other half is my office.  Total room size is about 12' x 15', or around 180 square feet.

Being budget minded is especially important when you are just starting out.  Serious thought must be placed on what you want to invest your money in.  I've chosen to put more money into buying metals and tools rather than fancy furniture and workbenches.  I hope this post gives you some ideas for creating your own workshop.

Getting a Good Shine

I never was a big fan of shiny metal jewelry.  Mostly because of the extra care, cleaning and polishing you need to do to keep it looking nice.  Now as I am making jewelry, I have another reason not to like shiny metal.  It's hard to get a good shine on a piece!

But since there will be times where a nice shiny finish is exactly what a piece will need, I am working on improving my polishing skills.  The project presented below is made with 22 gauge red brass.

Fun times in Glendale, Arizona

I spent a good portion of the day today checking out a couple of physical selling sites in Glendale, Arizona.  This was a great lesson in scoping venues ahead of time, as the two could not have been any more different in both goods sold and audience attracted.

My first stop was the Public Market / Swap Meet at West Winds Drive-In Theater.  What a great way to spend a day - shopping for bargains.  I scored a nice oval file and a pair of tin snips for $5 total.  These will come in handy at the workbench!